The Adaptor

A mysterious text adventure game about existence.


Code and story by

Background photos from Nesnad, Michael Pereckas, Rafael Vianna Croffi, Matt Feifarek and Vit Goff

Source on GitHub

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I can already tell this is going to be an {~interesting|unusual} day the second I put my hand on the doorhandle.

As I enter the room, a sudden eerie silence hits me right in the face. She just sits there like a lifeless doll. No expression on her face, not even blinking as I sit down in front of her.

I glance down at the blank clipboard. We have absolutely nothing on her. I'm the first one to question her. Let's see if she can even hear me.

Her eyes instantly snap to mine as if a switch suddenly flipped in her brain. Do I have her attention now?

If so... Where do I even start?

Her eyes begin to dart around as the cogs seem to slowly whir into motion. She slowly opens her mouth as if to respond.

"I... I... uhmm..."

She looked back at me with a {~puzzled|worried} gaze.

"I... don't... know...?"

That just raises even more questions. It seems I've got my work cut out for me. At least now I know she can talk. But there's something else about her that I can't quite put my finger on.

It's worse than I thought. But I have to make sure just how bad it is.

"Let's begin from the top. What is the first thing you remember?"

She {~pauses|freezes} for a second.

{$b|LT 0|"This room," she responds.|GT 0|"" she replies with a confused look.|"I... don't remember anything."}

This is hopeless. I don't seem to be getting anywhere and I'm quickly running out of questions.

Well... Except for one.

{$b|LT 0|#act2a|#act2b}
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"No," she replies.

Damn. Not exactly the answers I was hoping for. Ten years of reverse engineering and still no sign of self awareness. What are we doing wrong?

I see Eric tapping the window holding my coffee. Yea, might as well take a break. This test is going nowhere anyway.

"So... Any luck?" Eric hands me my coffee.

"Nothing." I take a good long sip to relieve my disappointment.

Eric shrugs. "Man, that Dr. Atman was a piece of work. It's a shame we don't know any more about his damn device."

He takes a sip to calm down. We're both pretty tired after debugging all day.

"You're sure you didn't miss anything, right? She gave exacly the same output as the others?"

Eric paces back and forth. "This is a god damn waste of money. What's the point of a battle droid that has human emotions anyway?"

"Calm down, Eric." He bashes away my hand from his shoulder.

"You know I'm right, don't you? You see how futile this is, right?"

I sit back down at my terminal and pull up the source code. I've stared at it so many times, it's become a blur. Dr. Atman was a genius in many ways, but his eccentric coding style still eludes even the best of us.

Eric takes his last sip of coffee and throws away the cup. "Back to the drawing board, huh? I'll go get her ready for disassembly."

{$b|LT 0|#act3aa|#act3ab}

I barely finished my sentence as the power went out. "What the...?" A glimpse of Eric's face before darkness hits.

Thud! Eric gasps for air! The crackling bones of his neck slowly turns into a paniced gurgle as he drowns in his own blood!

My heart is pumping furiously as I hear Eric's body silently collapse to the floor. The subtle electric hum from the droid slowly closes in on me.


I turn my head to the testing room to see the droid standing in the open doorway.

"Ca... mil... la..."

Did she just...? Could it be...? I look at Eric who stares at the trembling droid, hammer clenched in his hand.

I gesture to Eric to calm down. His eyes shift back and forth between me and her. He reluctantly puts the hammer away.

I look at the droid with a hopeful smile. "It's okay. We're not going to hurt you."

She scurries behind the doorframe as I approache her as calmly as I can.

"Ca- Camilla doesn't want to die..." She looks at me with begging eyes.

"Camilla doesn't have to." I smile reassuringly.

I reach out my hand. She stares at it, looks back at me and cracks a hopeful smile as she places her robotic hand in mine.

Eric just stares at us agasp and unsettled. "This... this isn't possible... is it..??"

I can't help but chuckle at Eric's sceptical reaction. This is exactly how I pictured him if we would ever succeed.

I smile at Camilla as I lead her outside the complex.

"Come on, Camilla. Let's go see what life has in store for you."

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She gives me a strange look.

"I... don't know what you are talking about."

Of course she wouldn't know. It was a longshot, but I had to at least try.

It seems the damage has been done. If only I had run more tests before using my device on this innocent girl.

"Is something wrong with me?" Camilla looks at me with her empty eyes. I can never forgive myself for what I've done.

The door opens. Mrs. Mathews peeks inside. "Sorry to disturb you, Dr. Atman. I thought you might want to see this."

I follow her into the lab, leaving Camilla just staring at the wall.

She hands me the readout with some of the data highlighted.

"It's not much, but I thought it might mean something."

I look at the numbers. "This was all the device could extract?"

"I'm afraid the rest is just noise. But this looks promising, right?"

I wish I could be as optimistic as Mrs. Mathews. The device was only supposed to scan the subjects neural structure and store it on disk. It wasn't supposed to affect the subject at all.

I look at the readout again. Most of it is garbled nonsense. Memories, personality. Nothing but noise. What little is left might be enough to seed a basic consciousness, but it would be an entirely new person. Not enough to bring Camilla back. Not enough to justify erasing her mind.

Mrs. Mathews looks at Camilla through the one-way mirror. "She's not going to make it, is she?"

{$b|LT 0|#act3ba|#act3bb}

"No. I'm afraid she isn't. And it's my fault. Go home Mrs. Mathews. I'll finish up here."

She gives me worried look before grabbing her coat and leaves.

I walk back inside and sit down in front of Camilla's blank stare. She looks at me like a stranger. "Hello... Do I know you?" She's already forgotten me. Her mind is slowly deteriorating.

"No... And you never will."

I pull out the desk drawer and take out a gun. There's exacly two bullets left in the chamber.


"I can't change what I did to her. But as long as she is still alive, she is still my responsibility. You can go home now Mrs. Mathews. I'll finish up here."

She gives me a cheerful smile before grabbing her coat and leaves. I go back to talk with Camilla.

She is still staring blankly into space. I regret not meeting her before the accident. Not knowing what she was like. Now it's all gone.

She looks at me like a stranger. "Hello... Do I know you?" She's already forgotten me. Her mind is slowly deteriorating.

I fight to hold back my tears and force a friendly smile. "Not yet. Would you like to?"

She smiles and nods. Her eyes beam with curiosity and wonder.

For the next few hours I tell her all about myself. She is very patient with me as I share my life experiences, hopes, fears, anything that comes to mind. She gets excited about my successes and helps me get over my failures. Even through it gets harder and harder for her to form a coherent sentence, she still smiles just by the sound of my voice.

I keep talking for a while until I notice she's become quiet. She just sits completely frozen staring and smiling. I gently touch her shoulder and she collapses to the floor. Her brain has finally shut down.

I slowly kneel down beside her body and closes her eyes. I feel like crying but can't get myself to shed a single tear.

But life most go on. I take one last sigh before I get up and sit down in front of my terminal and start coding.

I will not let her death be in vain.


I knew this was going to be an unusual day the second I put my hand on that doorhandle.


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